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    • world_business_news Japan steps into market as yen surges to postwar record high Japan's new Finance Minister Jun Azumi speaks during a press conference at the Prime Minister's official residence in Tokyo, Friday, Sept. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government and the Bank of Japan stepped into the currency market Monday to stem the yen's rise against the U.S. dollar, Finance Minister Jun Azumi said, stressing that Tokyo will continue to take action against speculators until it is "satisfied." The unilateral intervention, Japan's second in three months, helped push the dollar as high as 79.55 yen from the mid-75 yen level. The U.S. currency ran out of steam later, trading at 78.80-81 yen at 5 p.m. in Tokyo. "I repeatedly said (Japan) will take decisive action against speculative moves in the market," Azumi told reporters after Japanese monetary authorities intervened at 10:25 a.m. Foreign exchange rates must "sufficiently reflect real economic conditions of each country and fluctuate in a commonsense range," Azumi said. There are fears that the stronger yen could hurt Japan's nascent economic recovery from the March earthquake and tsunami by weighing on the profitability of Japanese exporters, already damaged by the natural disasters. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda expressed his resolve to continue taking necessary measures to prevent what he calls the yen's "speculative" rise from eroding the nation's export-reliant economy. "Excessive moves in the foreign exchange market have a negative impact on economic and financial stability," Noda said during a parliamentary session, adding, "We'll continue to watch foreign exchange developments." Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said there had been "one-sided appreciation of the yen." The government's top spokesman also told a press conference, "We need to take care of downside risks to the economy caused by such a development at a time when it (the economy) treads the path toward recovery from the earthquake disaster." Azumi declined to comment on the exact size of the latest intervention but said the government, along with the central bank which acts as an agent of the Finance Ministry, will continue with such action until it is "satisfied." The ministry is scheduled to announce on Nov. 30 the amount of yen funds used in its interventions between Oct. 28 and Nov. 28. It said Monday that no intervention was conducted between Sept. 29 and Oct. 27. The government and the BOJ last intervened in August, dumping 4.51 trillion yen (some $57 billion) in the market, and as a result pushed the dollar briefly back to the 80 yen level from the 77 yen range. The ministry is now arranging a legal change subject to Diet approval that would boost the amount of money available to spend on intervention in the current fiscal year through next March to 46 trillion yen from the current 31 trillion yen. "This means we will secure sufficient bullets for the battle," a ministry official said earlier. The latest intervention had been largely expected as the dollar continued to rewrite its postwar record low against the yen over the past week. On Monday morning, the U.S. currency briefly fell to 75.32 yen in Oceanian trading, a new low since the end of World War II, before the intervention led it higher by about 4 yen. But experts expressed a degree of surprise. "Stock prices were moderately recovering. The intervention at this timing is a bit surprising," a strategist at a foreign bank said on condition of anonymity, referring to the widespread view that the government and the BOJ have been more watchful of the negative impact on Japanese share prices from the rising yen than of the currency's exchange rate itself. Japan has apparently been forced to consult extensively with other members of the Group of Seven advanced economies before its intervention, although Azumi refused to comment on whether there was any pre-arrangement for the latest action.